education

The Sounds of Silence

The days before the actual “first day” of school are the most precious and set the tone for my mental game, as I gear up for the year. The utter silence not only in my room but throughout the hallways, only to be interrupted by teacher chatter, hugs, and rushing feet from one room or meeting to another quietly emulate a natural high as reality has not hit. Kids. Paperwork. Rules. My plans are for obvious perfection and is the bubble of life if only for a fleeting few days. It is then that schedules sound possible, discipline will be a breeze, and dress codes sound reasonable as jean days are put on the chopping block. It’s ok, we should dress up. Then week three hits and it hits hard. Suddenly, the quiet is replaced with chaos because the moving pieces are coming fast. It is a teacher’s life. It is precious but mentally and physically draining on a level few others feel.

Then it hits. It’s a stamicane, my own word for a stampede plus hurricane. Kids making their way down our halls breaking the blissful silence. First, the utter excitement is contagious but by week three “When is fall break” is my number one on the playlist on my mind, on repeat.

I started this blog long ago, and now I am in the midst of the realities in their lives, mixed in with the educational policies and state and educational needs, just for their survival into the next year. It’s a lot. It is my life, but it is a lot. This year the silence I crave so desperately before the onslaught of students, is needed every weekend. I am quiet. Very. Unusually. The year is taking its toll not due to the day-to-day teaching of my subject but their lives and struggles. The peace brings me back to my Monday self where I have enough guidance and wisdom to give, if asked, to help them make it through the week with their own struggles with family, money, death, and of course just your average friend battles. No, my kids see so much more than just catty friends. They deal with the stuff that adults head to shrinks for but mine take it in stride. Then the day comes when they break, usually in my room, and their truth spills out and into my life. I listen in silence and instantly crave the weekends peace to come quickly. Words are usually few when they fall apart, as that is not what is needed. They want an ear and a hug. These kids already have more wisdom and the answers to get through the day than I do…they are tough. All of the rooms I have entered, over my twenty years, have had kids that are tough, kids that are broken, kids that take true difficulties in stride. It is me who needs their strength and the weekend quiet to allow me to give my ear and hugs for the weeks to come.

Published by Tracy Livingston M.Ed.

A teacher who follows my students to greater educational moments and my own continued learning. I have sampled many of the varieties of teaching venues. Private Montessori, public, homeschooling, and back to public with a few awkward dances in the political sector. This blog began as The Relatively Sane Adventures of a Teacher and has morphed into Following The Child, as I have followed, listened, and learned from each and every student in over 20 years. View more posts

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